Baptists Oust Non-Bush Backers
WAYNESVILLE, N.C., May 8, 2005
(AP) Calling it a “great misunderstanding,” the pastor of a small church who led the charge to remove nine members for their political beliefs tried to welcome them back Sunday, but some insisted he must leave for the wounds to heal.
The Rev. Chan Chandler didn’t directly address the controversy during the service at East Waynesville Baptist Church, but issued a statement afterward through his attorney saying the church does not care about its members’ political affiliations.
“No one has ever been voted from the membership of this church due to an individual’s support or lack of support for a political party or candidate,” he said.
Nine members said they were ousted during a church gathering last week by about 40 others because they refused to support President Bush. They attended Sunday’s service with their lawyer and many supporters. The pastor’s lawyer also attended the service.
Well, certainly it was a great misunderstanding. Specifically, it was a great misunderstanding of what Christianity is supposed to be.
I can’t help wondering if part of the preacher’s willingness to recant had something to do with being informed of the tax implications of overt political partisanship by a tax-exempt religious organization.